The eagerly anticipated sequel to Obsidian Entertainment’s 2014 hit - South Park: The Stick Of Truth (TSOT) - is finally here after being delayed from an initial launch date of December 2016. This time however, it’s not the work of Obsidian Entertainment but the work of Ubisoft San Francisco. This change had a lot of people questioning how well the sequel was going to live up to the expectations set by the original.
The humour is exactly what you’d expect from South Park – very vulgar and offensive. Basically, if you find the TV series funny, there’s no reason you won’t find this game funny; however, that does mean that if you don’t like the TV series, you should probably stay away from this. As a fan of the series, this game has given me the most laughs I’ve had playing any game, probably since TSOT. As well as getting the humour right, Ubisoft nailed the aesthetic of South Park, weird walking animations and all.
Interacting with everything you can will almost always leave you with something you’ll remember, all the way from boss music, to the contents of drawers
Just like its predecessor, The Fractured But Whole (TFBH) is filled with almost endless references to the TV Series; interacting with everything you can will almost always leave you with something you’ll remember, all the way from boss music, to the contents of drawers. This shows that TFBH is absolutely aimed at long-term fans of the show that will enjoy spending hours trying to find everything they can.
One of the first things I noticed with TFBH was that the map is almost the same as that in TSOT. There aren’t really many other places they could possibly have added but, in TSOT there was a section of the game where you went to Canada and left South Park. Unfortunately, there’s none of that here as the entire game is set in South Park itself. I expected the story to have us travel to Canada again, or even somewhere else entirely, just to mix it up a bit.
The biggest change that’s been made since TSOT is the combat system; it’s still turn based, but now there’s an added element of positioning your characters in a grid system, to avoid attacks or deal as much damage as they can. This adds a layer of complexity which fixes one of the problems in TSOT where the combat felt too easy.
Character customisation/upgradability has also been significantly changed from TSOT, but not in a good way. There are no upgradable weapons or gear, or even any skill trees. What we have now are so-called “Artifacts”, that alter your character’s stats. Any equippable items you find in the world, other than the “Artifacts”, are purely cosmetic and don’t alter your stats in any way. For a game that’s labelled as an RPG, upgradable gear and skills are something I think it should have.
Despite its lack of some key RPG elements, South Park The Fractured But Whole is absolutely worth playing if you enjoyed the first game and are a fan of the show. With the humour and aesthetic being so good, it feels just like an extra-long episode of the TV show.